Lifestyle Feature

How Low Can You Go?

Chad W. Lutz
In every contest there must be a loser. For every person that comes in first, there must be a person that comes in last. With that in mind, the Cleveland Cavaliers took to this season with something to prove. After being ranked the team-to-beat the past two seasons, with arguably the best player in the NBA leading our way, the Cavs seem to have lost total control when it comes to conquering that ever-elusive beast, the win.
Now 8-44, the Cavs are in the midst of a seemingly never-ending skid that has seen them the loser in 25 consecutive contests. 100 full quarters of basketball later, the Cavaliers now hold two NBA records: one for the most consecutive losses in a season and the other for most overall losses consecutively (of which was previously held by the, wait, come on, you can guess this one…by the Cavs themselves, you’re right!).
Having lost 35 games out of their last 36, the Cavs are in serious panic mode. Generally, teams don’t go into a season thinking that after one month of basketball it’ll be time to shut it down and hope for the best for next season, but the Cavs are living this nightmarish reality. In HD broadcast no lees, straight into the slowly diminishing comfort of our living rooms.
After starting the season strong the Cavaliers are playing like the Titanic. Still winless in 2011, all one can really ask is, “What the hell happened?” The last time the Cavaliers actually won a basketball game was December 18th versus New York, and before that was November 27th.
Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty Images

Fairly symbolic of the Cavaliers quest for victories, Forward J.J. Hickson (21) attempts to grab the ball during a game against the Grizzlies on 2/4/2011, which seems to be painfully out of reach.
It seems that no matter what, the Cavaliers just can’t seem to get any sort of rhythm going. One night someone will get hot as the rest of the team flounders, and then the next go completely cold with everyone else acting like they’ve never seen a basketball before in their lives. At this point in the season all I can hear is Darth Vader’s voice telltale hearting, “Resistance is futile, resistance is futile.” Even as I sit here typing this out, “Quit Playing Games With My Heart,” by the Backstreet Boys, which is randomly playing in the backdrop, is almost embarrassingly revealing. Every emotion I think I could possibly feel about the Cavaliers at this point in the season is being summed up by prancing, teenage-heartthrob, has been yancies (somebody get me a drink).
After having the best record in the entire NBA the past two seasons, and being there personally to witness the Cavaliers make it to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history, in dramatic fashion no less, I’m torn apart. I want to root for this team, but they’re making it damn near impossible.
It’s almost like they’ve completely given up. The Night the Queen came home may yet prove to have been too much to handle. The feel of the team back then is a stark contrast to they way they carry themselves now. At the end of November, going into their first match-up against the one formally known as “The King,” the Cavaliers were 7-9 and had just come off a near win against Eastern Conference juggernauts the Orlando Magic losing by only just one point. Sixty-eight days later, however, the Cavaliers fell to the last team they actually beat before that ill-fated contest, the Memphis Grizzlies. Even after taking the lead into the final 1:40.

“And for my next act…”

The Cavaliers took on the second best team in the West and the fourth best team in the NBA in the Mavericks last night in Dallas. The Cavs made it close but still dropped the contest 99-96. Next stop: The Q, where the Cavs will host the Detroit Pistons tomorrow night as one of the last games leading up to the All-Star break. Tomorrow night they go for number 26. It pains me to think that way, but with each loss the Cavaliers are redefining what it means to suck in the NBA. Is this the product of another curse? Did taking his talents to South Beach mean leaving a plague on all our houses?

Although this season is still far from over, one can’t help but draw conclusions, or at least wild speculation that the return of the Queen to the Q December 2nd did something to this team; something terrible. Ever since then the Cavs have taken the worst turn for the worse possibly imagined. Meanwhile, the Miami Heat sit on a cushion near the top of the East at 37-14 as the second best team in the conference and are the proud winners of six straight.
Since there must be a loser in every contest, the only real question now, I suppose, is how far down the rabbit hole will we go? It’s times like these I wish I had a supernatural remote to fast-forward through this season so I can get it over with now, instead of having to ride shotgun to the white rabbit aboard the chaos cruiser all the way down to the bottom of the barrel. I still have faith in my team and will proudly proclaim, “Go Cavs,” on command, but I never thought I’d see my team drop a quarter cent worth of games in a row, this life, afterlife, or any other cosmic form of existence you can think of. It may not have been what we were hoping for, even though it might have been exactly what many expected. All we can really say at this point, however, is, “There’s always next year.”

Apparently, No Sympathy for the Wine and Gold